Welcome to the Holistic Hen - Sharing Experiences Raising Organic Chickens, Quail & Pigeons

Organically raised chickens, quail, fantail pigeons and the occasional guest poultry all living in 1000m2 of organic forest garden. The following articles attempt to look at the poultry's view of life in the backyard and to observe and share how they thrive and survive in the environment we created for them. On the occasions when I need to intervene, I do so with a holistic approach to the bird as an individual and also to infer from the situation what this tells me about the general health, happiness and dynamics of the flock. I look at stress management and show how to use nutrition and phytotherapy for both prevention and cure of various conditions. These articles are on-going, they occur either as they happen to us or because someone has asked me for help with their birds and thus to share what I have learned from the experience. Below you will find links to my latest article and my latest YouTube video


Tree Fodder - Air Meadows - Food For Free - Traditional Poultry and Livestock Farming

Part 1 From Neolithic Times to Modern Day

Part 2 Tree Choices (including small scale) for Food & Medicine

Part One: 'Air meadows' is the beautiful description for a multi millennial old tradition of feeding European livestock. How do we know this?  Well because in this form of silviculture, the standard way of growing trees for an optimum harvest was to pollard them and thus create a yearly plethora of thickly growing, thin leafy branches above browse height. Evidence of whole stands of trees pruned this way have been discovered dating from the Neolithic Period all over the continent and there still exist examples of ancient pollarded trees in parks common land and pre-Enclose Act hedgerows. It is very interesting to note that up until the beginning of the 20th century more tree hay, was cut, dried and stored for use in Europe than conventional (grass) hay. Furthermore, air meadows didn't just provide food, sheep in particular are known to self-medicate for internal parasites by using the tannins and other phenolic compounds found in leaves. So for free food and medicine, look to the sky......read more
Part Two..... read more